Here is something good happening in the world for once: Yale just decided to do a radical thing and actually use the billions of dollars in its coffers to actually give financial aid to students who need it. It's a very odd move, one that defies market conventions since Yale has absolutely no problem filling its classes with kids who will willingly indenture themselves at investment banks and management consulting firms for decades after graduation to pay off their tuition fees, but see, Harvard did it a few weeks ago — and one can only imagine that Princeton, whose endowment is big enough to give tuition away for the next half century or so, will follow suit. Interestingly, this news comes on the same day that New York Magazine runs a story on the problem of instilling work ethic in the children of America's 15,000 families worth more than $100 million. Most likely, you never kids from families worth $100 million before you went to college. And once in college you probably didn't see them in class! Remember Born Rich?
Luke Weil, heir to the Autotote gaming fortune, described how Brown University couldn't bring itself to kick him out because it needed his family's money—"I think I attended less than eight academic commitments"—and added that in boarding school, whenever a classmate would annoy him, he knew "I can just say, 'Fuck you, I'm from New York. I can buy your family; piss off.' "
(Whatever happened to Luke? Well, he has since worked at Bear Stearns, gone to Columbia Business School, assaulted his ex-girlfriend.) (To be fair, the story also quotes Holly Peterson, author of The Manny, claiming her billionaire father "only" subsidized her lifestyle by $600 a month in her twenties. But fuck, why be fair? Prove it, Holly.) Anyway, congratulations, normal kids who can get into Harvard and Yale and whatever other trendhumping money-soaked colleges follow suit on this plan. Trust us, realizing that the hundred laziest, most extravagantly wealthy people in your freshman dorm are the ones who will very soon control the universe is hard enough without knowing you'll be so bogged down in debt you'll have to actually go work for them when you get out.
Yale Will Increase Spending From $22.5 Billion Fund [Bloomberg]
Rich Kid Syndrome [New York]